Bishops tell gov’t: No free condoms on Valentine’s Day
MANILA, Philippines—With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some Catholic bishops were quick to issue a warning to the government against handing out free condoms and other forms of artificial contraceptives to Filipino couples during the special occasion.
Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo on Friday appealed to the Department of Health to skip the distribution of free condoms on Feb. 14 like it did last year.
“The Church is against the distribution of condoms [especially on Valentine’s Day] because we know how the use of contraceptives affects the morality of our people and our society in general,” said Lagdameo over Church-run Radio Veritas Friday.
The former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also added that the key to an HIV/AIDS-free society was “abstinence, fidelity to one’s spouse and obedience to God’s will.”
Lagdameo said he was hopeful that the DOH would remain steadfast in its resolve to no longer distribute free condoms to lovers on Feb. 14.
Last year, Health Secretary Enrique Ona decided to scrap a campaign of the health agency which involved the distribution of free condoms to adult customers to help curb the growing number of HIV and AIDS cases in the country.
In skipping such campaign activity, Ona stated that the DOH was rather promoting abstinence and monogamy among Filipinos to combat the disease.
For his part, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said the reproductive health (RH) bill, if passed, would boost sex liberalization in the country, which could also lead to an increase in sex crimes.
Also over Radio Veritas on Friday, Bagaforo said the country must work to keep its culture, which includes close family ties, intact and that it must also remain as a model for sexual control, not for sex liberalization.
“Let us learn from the experience of American and European nations, which are now suffering from the bad effects of the RH bill,” according to Bagaforo.
The Catholic Church has been opposing the RH bill, still pending legislation, which espouses free access to condoms and other artificial contraceptives among Filipino couples.
The Philippine Church hierarchy has frowned at efforts of the government in promoting the RH bill, which included in the past the distribution of condoms on Valentine’s Day.
Church officials believed that instead of condom use, marital fidelity and abstention among unmarried pairs should be promoted by the government, especially around this time of the year.
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